If you’ve been in the shop this week you may have noticed two things. One, there’s a load of great new stuff in this week. And two, I’m not around! I’m putting this list together on Monday, and all of this stuff should be in by the time you read this. Hell, there’s probably even more than this. So I’ll update you on that next week when I’m back. Anyway, go visit Stefan and Bailey at the shop, they’ll be more than happy to sell you this stuff, or some of the killer used goodies we priced up before I left too…. go!
…..picks of the week…..
Keiji Haino: Watashi Dake? (Black Editions) LP
Black Editions present the first vinyl reissue of Keiji Haino’s stunning debut album Watashi Dake?, originally released in 1981. This first ever edition released outside of Japan features the artist’s originally intended metallic gold and silver jacket artwork. Over the last fifty years few musicians or performers have created as monumental and uncompromising a body of work as that of Keiji Haino. Through a vast number of recordings and performances, Haino has staked out a ground all his own, creating a language of unparalleled intensity that defies any simple classification. For all this, his 1981 debut album Watashi Dake? has remained enigmatic. Originally released in a small edition by the legendary Pinakotheca label, the album was heard by only a select few in Japan and far fewer overseas. Original vinyl copies became impossibly rare and highly sought after the world over. Watashi Dake? presents a haunting vision — stark vocals, whispered and screamed, punctuate dark silences. Intricate and sharp guitar figures interweave, repeat, and stretch, trance-like, emerging from dark recesses. Written and composed on the spot — Haino’s vision is one of deep spiritual depths that distantly evokes 1920s blues and medieval music — yet is unlike anything ever committed to record before or since. Produced in close cooperation with Keiji Haino and legendary photographer Gin Satoh. Coupled with starkly minimal packaging, featuring the now iconic cover photographs by Gin Satoh, the album is a startling and fully realized artistic statement. Housed in custom printed deluxe Stoughton tip-on jackets, including black on black inserts, extras, and hand-colored finishes; Remastered by Elysian Masters and cut by Bernie Grundman Mastering; Pressed to high quality vinyl at RTI; Includes download code.
File Under: Experimental, Japanese, Psych
Various: Welcome to Zamrock! Vol. 1 (Now Again) LP
Includes download card. Featuring Nogzi Family, Witch, Musi-O-Tunya, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Amanaz, Blackfoot, “and every important Zamrock band.” “Explore Zambia’s liberation and its impact on the country’s rock revolution. By the mid-1970s, the Southern African nation known as the Republic of Zambia had fallen on hard times. Though the country’s first president Kenneth Kaunda had thrown off the yoke of British colonialism, the new federation found itself under his self-imposed, autocratic rule. Conflict loomed on all sides of this landlocked nation. Kaunda protected Zambia from war, but his country descended into isolation and poverty. This is the environment in which the ’70s rock revolution that has come to be known as Zamrock flourished. Fuzz guitars were commonplace, as were driving rhythms as influenced by James Brown’s funk as Jimi Hendrix’s rock predominated. Musical themes, mainly sung in the country’s constitutional language, English, were often bleak. In present day Zambia, Zamrock markers were few. Only a small number of the original Zamrock godfathers that remained in the country survived through the late ’90s. AIDS decimated this country, and uncontrollable inflation forced the Zambian rockers that could afford to flee into something resembling exile. This was not a likely scene to survive — but it did. Welcome To Zamrock!, presented in two volumes, is an overview of its most beloved ensembles, and a trace of its arc from its ascension, to its fall, to its resurgence.”
File Under: Psych, Fuzz, Africa
Circle: Terminal (Southern Lord) LP
Circle is the very definition of genre-defying; a rare feat for any band, but effortlessly achieved by this prolific Finnish collective. Circle’s latest album Terminal, issued on Southern Lord, is pure hedonistic pleasure. Never content on staying the same, Circle has created an idiosyncratic cocktail of sonic fusions, conjuring an impulsive, dizzying energy that stirs a spirit of curiosity within the listener, and possesses all who encounter the band. Whilst many would run out of creative steam after more than thirty albums, Circle continue to boldly explore sonic soundscapes, venturing curiously into terrains of Stooges-esque swagger, trance-inducing kraut rock mantras, beautiful electronic ambience, psychedelic rock noodling, arena storming AOR weirdness, ’70s prog rock extravagance, glam pop pomp, and of course their core sound, heavy metal, not to mention other peculiar and daring sounds that simply cannot be pigeonholed. Circle’s Terminal is gloriously fruitful in tones, shapes, colors, and sounds. Eccentric, accessible, delightful and thrilling.
File Under: Metal, Hard Rock, Krautrock
Algers: Underside of Power (Matador) LP
This is the musical response that dark times demand, one that not only shakes its fist but deploys it. Locally-informed global citizens, Algiers refuse to sit idly by while most contemporary artists appear perfectly content to sit out the revolution. Not only do Algiers harbor a purposeful sense of obligation in what they do on their latest resistance record The Underside Of Power, but they recognize the roots and thorns of precedent in said resistance. Beyond the technical necessities living their respective lives both in and outside of music, Algiers’ continued deviation from a more traditional band approach created a more versatile sound, one that better incorporates a collective and respective panoply of influences and styles. Some of this is informed by their choice of collaborators in this process, a crew that includes Adrian Utley [Portishead], Ben Greenberg [Uniform, The Men], Randall Dunn [Sunn 0)))], among others. Pick any track off The Underside of Power and the reference points expand exponentially, a dizzying and thrilling Recommended-If-You-Like list that would consume a series of afternoons. Poke at the seasoned members’ bruised flesh, and outcome wafting touchpoints as disparate and intriguing as Big Black, Wendy Carlos, John Carpenter, Cybotron, The Four Tops, Portishead, Public Image Limited, Steve Reich, and Nina Simone, to name but a few. Deep echoes of Black Lives Matter and its 20th century forbears gather, surge, and subside in their often soulful work, a form of principled, acute dissent more interested in learning from the past than in evoking nostalgia.
Indie Rock, Post Punk, Experimental
Can: The Singles (Mute) 3LP
Can The Singles, a brand new collection of all of the band’s single releases, on triple vinyl. This unique document is the first time the singles have been presented together and shows the breadth of their influential career, from well loved tracks like “Halleluwah,” “Vitamin C” and “I Want More” to more obscure and sought after singles such as “Silent Night” and “Turtles Have Short Legs.” The tracks are all presented in their original single version, many of which have been unavailable for many years and not presented outside of the original 7″ release. The triple vinyl edition comes packaged in a trifold sleeve and is decorated with a beautiful spot gloss lamination and is designed by the award winning Julian House from Intro, a long time design collaborator of Can’s.
Carlos Casas: Pyramid of Skulls (Discrepant) LP
Inspired by the common task and the people of Pamir in Tajikistan, filmmaker and sound artist Carlos Casas deconstructs far-away sights and sounds to create a unique field recording experiment that equally worships past, present, and future traditions. Nikolai Fedorov thought the Pamir to be the cradle of humanity, the hidden and forgotten nest, a pyramid of skulls that held the secrets of past human kinship. He believed that most of Asian myths of human origin pointed the Pamir region as their inception. For the Chinese, Indian, and Semitic myths, the mountainous region of Central Asia, often referred to as “the roof of the world”, was the key to understand his resurrection plan.
Alex Chilton: Take Me Home and Make Me Like It (Munster) LP
Take Me Home And Make Me Like It comprises unrehearsed, first-take recordings by Alex Chilton, recorded in 1975. Notes by Alex Chilton and producer Jon Tiven; 180 gram vinyl. “This is music performed with some of the most callous abandon ever to have been allowed in a recording studio. Many of these tracks have a raw cinéma vérité atmosphere applied to recorded rock and roll. My own performances seem to be either obnoxious or attempting an insufferable cuteness, but often they achieve a compelling electricity in their spontaneous excitement. We recorded over a few days in the fall of 1975. I was very into a loose, unrehearsed first take sort of approach to recording music. I learned from producer Jim Dickinson the method of throwing a very impromptu rendering of a song onto tape. . . . This method gives a fresh, sometimes anarchistic quality to the performances. The first day of the sessions was approached in this way. The second day went according to the producer’s more conservative method of planning and rehearsal. All in all there is some hot, untamed rock and roll on this disc.” –Alex Chilton, 1992. “This record is meant as an addendum to Singer Not The Song (1977) / Bach’s Bottom (1981) and not a substitution. The idea that somebody would be interested in anything beyond what had already been released is lunacy considering the underwhelming reaction the record industry had to it at the time. When Munster asked if I’d like to take a look at releasing anything that wasn’t out previously, I had to say yes. Now you have it, all the contents of the first crazy night of recording, plus some new ways to look at some of the other material. . . . It’s sort of similar (not musically, but in terms of the producer/artist relationship) to the Blowin’ Your Mind! album by Van Morrison (1967) — you can sense the underlying tension, and not every track is a ‘success’, but it is mighty powerful. . . . Alex was not about melody at the time, he wanted to repudiate his Big Star work and make a sinister record that threatened people. Without half trying, Singer Not The Song did accomplish that. It became one of the first punk rock/new wave records, the very first EP for the genre.” –Jon Tiven, Jan 2017
File Under: Rock, Big Star
Michele Fedrigotti/Danilo Lorenzini: I Fiori Del Sole (Song Cycle) LP
Song Cycle Records present a reissue of Michele Fedrigotti and Danilo Lorenzini’s I Fiori Del Sole, originally released on Cramps Records in 1979. I Fiori Del Sole is a composition for organ and piano by the Italian duo of Michele Fedrigotti and Danilo Lorenzini. The encounter between minimalist aesthetic and evocative religious atmospheres make this album one of the most interesting and obscure treasures of Italian minimalism. The album was produced by the legendary Franco Battiato with whom the duo Fedrigotti-Lorenzini collaborated the same year for L’Era Del Cinghiale Bianco.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Classical
Fleet Foxes: Crack-Up (Nonesuch) LP
Crack-Up is the long-awaited and highly anticipated third album from Northwest indie-folk act Fleet Foxes. The Nonesuch Records release comes six years after the 2011 release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band’s breakout 2008 self-titled debut. All 11 songs on Crack-Up were written by Robin Pecknold who also co-produced the album with longtime bandmate and close collaborator Skyler Skjelset. The album comes preceded by “Third of May / Ōdaigahara,” a nearly nine-minute epic powered by piano and electric twelve-string guitar, string quartet, and the group’s trademark sparkling harmonies. Crack-Up was recorded at various locations across the United States between July 2016 and January 2017: at Electric Lady Studios, Sear Sound, The Void, Rare Book Room, Avast, and The Unknown. Phil Ek mixed the album, at Sear Sound, and it was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Fleet Foxes is Robin Pecknold (vocals, multi-instrumentalist), Skyler Skjelset (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Casey Wescott (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Christian Wargo (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), and Morgan Henderson (multi-instrumentalist).
File Under: Indie Rock
Philippe Hallais: An American Hero (Modern Love) LP
Philippe Hallais returns to Modern Love with An American Hero, the first album under his own name. It follows his label debut as Low Jack with Lighthouse Stories in early 2016. An American Hero is by some distance his most important work to date, setting aside the squashed dancefloor productions of his Low Jack alias for an album of emotive, indefinable ambient pieces. After working through different subcultural musical languages as Low Jack, with An American Hero, Philippe takes inspiration from the TV biopics of high-performance athletes for an album of exceptional emotive impact; somewhere between pastiche, tragedy, and electronic futurism. Fascinated by the sports documentaries mass-produced by the US TV channel ESPN, Hallais transcribed and amplified its dramatic recipes. These form the material of tearful soap operas which develop the same narrative ad nauseam; the rise to the top, the betrayal, decline, salvation, comeback, and ultimately, nostalgia and regret. The TV formatting reduces the life of these high-level athletes to a generic tale, transforming them into impersonators of their own lives through extreme use of editing, slow motion, and musical themes. Acting as a Greek tragedy, An American Hero delves into the dislocations of the mythology of sports and its achievement in mass entertainment; whereby the hero becomes a dispensable and mimetic body. Hallais delves into this unusual portrayal of triviality and disaster, naivety and cynicism that make the real life and ordeals of the hero indistinguishable from their scripted form on TV. This obsession with storytelling and the creation of bigger-than-life characters forms the narrative of An American Hero, a parable for our times. RIYL: James Ferraro, Yves Tumor, Hype Williams, My Bloody Valentine, Leyland Kirby. Artwork and photography by Ethan Assouline; Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.
Aldous Harding: Party (4AD) LP
Finally, some copies for the shelf! Aldous Harding returns with her second album, Party, produced with the award-winning John Parish (PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) in Bristol, a world away from her New Zealand home. As well as contributions from Parish, Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas lends vocals on lover’s call to arms “Imagining My Man” and “Swell Does The Skull.” Igniting interest with her eponymous debut issued just two years ago, Harding is known for her sinister torch songs, gentle laments and eerie odes delivered with a charismatic combination of hubris, shrewd wit and quiet horror. Party introduces a new talent to the stark and unpopulated dramatic realm where Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside.
Arve Henriksen: Towards Language (Rune Grammofon) LP
With Towards Language, trumpeter Arve Henriksen is back with his trusted long-time musical partners Jan Bang and Erik Honoré. Also, an important part of the line-up is Eivind Aarset, the ECM associated guitarist extraordinaire. Towards Language is Arve’s ninth album (eight on Rune Grammofon and one on ECM) under his own name. Asked to comment on his new album, and its title, here’s what he has to say: “To express something on your own can be quite challenging at times. I have, for years, been in creative collaborations with musicians and producers that have encouraged and inspired me. Music that has a connection to ‘Places of Worship’, but this time recorded ‘live’ in the studio in a chamber music like approach inspired by contemporary elements from composers like Toru Takemitsu and Manuel de Falla, to traditional organ music, and at the end of the album bringing in a traditional ‘kven’ (ancient Nordic song tradition) theme from the roots of my family from the North of Norway, sung by Anna Maria Friman of Trio Mediaeval.”
File Under: Jazz, Electronic
Arve Henriksen: Chiaroscuro (Rune Grammofon) LP
First time on vinyl for Arve Henriksen’s heart-wrenching 2004 album, Chiaroscuro. Chiaroscuro was the follow-up to this fantastic trumpet player’s debut album, the much acclaimed Sakuteiki from 2001. BBC Online called Sakuteiki “a thing of rare and compelling beauty…. music making as natural and essential as breathing.” This time he is joined by drummer Audun Kleive and sound artist Jan Bang to create some very beautiful musical soundscapes where the trumpet is the natural point of focus. There’s also more room for Arve’s wordless singing, sometimes used to stunning effect with Supersilent.
Holy Shroud: Ghost Repeaters (Noyes) LP
The Holy Shroud were a Canadian supergroup featuring members of North of America and Wintersleep. Here, for the first time on vinyl, is their Ghost Repeaters LP. This set was originally released in 2005 on the influential Level Plane label. The record has been remastered and includes never before seen photos and a retrospective essay by founding member Michael Bigelow. This is a ferocious and crucial record. Limited to 300 on white vinyl.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Murder of the Universe (ATO) LP
Melbourne’s King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are a once-in-a-generation group playing a heady combination of psychedelia, prog rock, freakbeat, jazz, heavy metal and Krautrock at a breathless punk pace. A concept album to end all concepts, their new record Murder Of The Universe is a face-melting musical assault concerned with the downfall of man and the death of the planet. Lit by thunderclaps and lightning, MOTU inhabits a sonic landscape of death, decay, ossification, fossilization, rebirth. It is a place occupied by wandering shape-shifting beasts, bleeding skies, pools of blood, great fires and mushroom clouds; a planet rent asunder by conflict. Like in the band’s frenzied live show, snippets of their breakthrough records I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and Nonagon Infinity resurface throughout the new album to haunt their latest sound. “We’re living in dystopian times that are pretty scary and it’s hard not to reflect that in our music,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “It’s almost unavoidable. Some scientists predict that the downfall of humanity is just as likely to come at the hands of Artificial Intelligence, as it is war or viruses or climate change. But these are fascinating times too. Human beings are visual creatures – vision is our primary instinct, and this is very much a visual, descriptive, bleak record. While the tone is definitely apocalyptic, it is not necessarily purely a mirror of the current state of humanity. It’s about new non-linear narratives.”
Leyland Kirby: When We Parted My Heart Wanted to Die (HAFTW) LP
2017 repress. Originally released in 2009. It’s a prescient hauntological elegy somewhere between Vangelis’ Bladerunner OST (1982), Lynch and Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks score, Erik Satie’s solo Piano works, William Basinski’s gradual tape decompositions, and James Ferraro’s washed out visions. Back in 2009, James Leyland Kirby explained: “Here we stand, twenty years on from the first CD, and our optimism has been gradually eroded away collectively. ‘Tomorrows World’ never came. We are lost and isolated, many of us living our lives through social networks as we try to make sense of it all, becoming voyeurs not active participants. Documenting everything. No Mystery. Everything laid bare for all to see.” A decade later, it could hardly have been more prescient. It’s with this pessimistic sense of being that Kirby constructed these incredible pieces, creating a sequence of music designed to overwhelm and absorb, affecting our sense of time and place by tracing and retracing musical steps into a blur, re-using the same motifs with incremental differences, trapped in our own feedback loops of lost emotion. On this long double album, James Leyland Kirby once again acts as a spiritual bridge, holding fast against the perceived current of time and culture in order to afford a slow, lingering gaze on its ambiguous, ever-shifting ripples and eddies. Like staring at a body of gently moving water, the effect is strangely soothing and meditative, encouraging immersed reflection and dilated focus…
Leyland Kirby: Sadly, The Future is no Longer What it Was (HAFTW) LP
2017 repress; Originally released in 2009. The second part of Leyland Kirby’s uniquely prescient dark ambient masterstroke, Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was (2009) finds the listener returning to Kirby’s draughty corridors of processed 78s and midnight keyboard meditations is a sublime, haunting experience like no other. The listener can read his melancholic diagnosis of capitalist malaise, deferred futurism and thwarted social utopianism as a genuinely uncanny foresight of what has played out in contemporary society, in an age when Facebook and Twitter have become an all-encompassing filter for daily life and effectively assuaged the rich analog ambiguity of collectivism in favor of cold, hard, binary politics and reflexive, unthinking emotional responses. Especially in the wake of Mark Fisher’s tragic passing earlier in 2017, Kirby’s hauntological sentiments, embedded quite literally in titles such as “When Did Our Dreams And Futures Drift So Far Apart”, and figuratively perfused through its stark negative space, now feel to resonate stronger than ever; using shared echoes of the hive mind such as classic film scores from Vangelis and Lynch/Badalmenti — both quite literally omnipresent in imminent sequels right now — as cues for sorrowful elegies and meditations which aesthetically resonate as much with Deathprod’s liminal scapes, as a sort of mildewed modern classical flocking to Satie’s tasteful ambient wallpaper. Yet it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s a sense of underlying sense of resilience, of resistance to Kirby’s hushed, ribboning expressions which flows with a considerate pathos and open-ended emotional curiosity which belies the narcissistic reaffirmations of social media’s echo chambers and dialectic cul-de-sacs, quietly striving to wrench something beautiful and affective from the clutches of a manipulative mainstream.
File Under: Ambient, The Shining
Kohn: Kreis Plon (Kraak) LP
Almost 20 years ago, Jürgen De Blonde debuted on Kraak with the nowadays unfindable and almost visionary album 1 (1998). It was the starting point for a vital and wondrous exploration that lead him over paths of glitch, idm, shoe gaze, hypnagogic pop, improvised music, straight forward synth music, field recordings, and kraut… In the middle of this ungraspable adventure through contemporary electronic music, Köhn stands as a genuine artist that stayed true to the curious spirit of the DIY knob twiddling and boggling boy he once was. Kraak present his seventh album on the label, Kreis Plön, which documents and envisions 20 years of exploring. It’s an album that is about a fusion of the past and the future, of separation and reconfiguration, of mourning and rejoicing, of noise and peace. Kreis Plön is about geolocation. It’s about probable fiction and looking for bits of different puzzles that fit together. It’s an exercise in linear and perpendicular coherence devoid of any objective logic. In the middle of the album an artist is envisioning his place in the now, questioning how or when he got there, as he links memories to imaginary places, and real places, to imaginary histories. Kreis Plön stands as such a masterpiece that bluntly envisions the future of electronic music. Mastered by Karel De Backer; Recorded and produced by Jürgen De Blonde; Artwork and design by Ruttens-Wille.
Electronic, Krautrock, Kosmische
Kronos Quartet: Folk Songs (Nonesuch) LP
When Nonesuch Records celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, with festivals at London’s Barbican Centre and New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Kronos Quartet joined forces with four labelmates – Sam Amidon, Olivia Chaney, Rhiannon Giddens and Natalie Merchant – to perform a concert entitled Folk Songs. The group later recorded the songs, most of which are traditional with contemporary arrangements, with Doug Petty as the album’s producer. In addition, the album includes the instrumental “Last Kind Words” by Geeshie Wiley. For more than 40 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet – David Harrington and John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) – has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world’s most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than sixty recordings, collaborating with many of the world’s most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioning more than 900 works and arrangements for string quartet.
Radiohead: OK Computer OKNOTOK (XL) 3LP
LIMITED INDIE STORE ONLY BLUE VINYL... Rescued from defunct formats, prized from dark cupboards and brought to light after two decades in cold storage… OKNOTOK will be issued June 23 on XL Recordings, coinciding (roughly) with the original 1997 release date(s) of Radiohead’s landmark third album, OK COMPUTER. OKNOTOK features the original OK COMPUTER twelve track album, eight B-sides, and the Radiohead completist’s dream: “I Promise,” “Lift,” and “Man Of War.” The original studio recordings of these three previously unreleased and long sought after OK COMPUTER era tracks finally receive their first official issue on OKNOTOK. All material on OKNOTOK is newly remastered from the original analogue tapes. OK COMPUTER was originally released on various dates ranging from May to July 1997. Produced by the band and Nigel Godrich, the album is widely cited as one of the greatest works of Radiohead’s–or any artist’s–catalogue and was the first Radiohead record to reach #1 in the UK and to be nominated for the Album of the Year GRAMMY. The album features singles “Paranoid Android,” “Karma Police,” “Lucky” and “No Surprises. In 2015, The National Recording Registry selected OK COMPUTER to be preserved in the Library of Congress as a recording that has proven “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The Library of Congress wrote of OK Computer, “On their third album, Radiohead create an information-age dystopia characterized by psychopaths, corrupt politicians, ill-behaved consumers, tyrannical robots, airline disasters, car crashes and failed safety protocols. For the album, the band had mostly stripped away such alt-rock signposts as personalized lyrics, sinus-clearing guitars and thunderous bass and drums. The ghosts of the Pixies and Nirvana have been decisively exorcised. The presence of fin de siècle electronic dance music, jazz, 20th-century classical and dub are all palpable”.
Terry Riley: Persian Surgery Dervishes (Aguirre) LP
The classic minimal music album is now available again on vinyl for the first time since the ’70s. During the 1970s, Californian composer Terry Riley concentrated on solo keyboard performances, continuing to make music yet writing down almost nothing. Riley selected a mode, chose a few motifs or basic patterns and then, seated on the floor in front of his audience, improvised on electronic keyboard. The electric organ, superseded at later concerts by a synthesizer, was portable and consistent. By the early ’70s, Riley had come to feel that scores were a distraction. Faithful interpretation of an already written piece was a deviation from the true purpose of making music, which was spiritual quest. Fortunately, some of those live performances were captured on tape. Persian Surgery Dervishes, issued initially on the French label Shandar in 1972, features two such concerts for electric organ and reel-to-reel delay, one recorded in Los Angeles on April 18th, 1971, the other in Paris on May 24th, 1972. At the start of that decade, Riley became a dedicated student of the great Hindustani singer Pandit Pran Nath. Looking into North Indian classical tradition, he found correspondences to modal and cyclic ideas that he was already working on. In 1971, Riley started teaching Indian music at Mills College, in Oakland. That experience fed directly into his solo keyboard performances, but other influences were also shaping his music. Personal research into ancient Persian culture and the poetry of Rumi lit up his imagination, while the repetitive swirling of Sufi devotional music from North Africa and jazz, an enduring source of inspiration, reverberate through these performances. The Californian version of Persian Surgery Dervishes starts with low dark tones, dense and brooding like a huddled human figure, deep in introspection. But as the improvisation unfolds Riley’s buoyant spirit asserts itself, spiraling out in ecstatic coils. The Parisian concert conveys a different mood, brighter and more open in texture, more relaxed from the outset and breathing with greater freedom as it takes flight. Persian Surgery Dervishes is a mesmerizing record of a vital stage in Riley’s ongoing quest for connection with the universal mind and sublime music. “Music is my spiritual path. It’s my way of finding out who I am.” –Terry Riley, 1976 Includes insert with liner notes by Julian Cowley; Lacquer cut by Rashad Becker; Layout by Jeroen Wille; Remastered by Equusl; Licensed from FGL Productions; Edition of 1000.
Tweedy: Together At Last (Anti) LP
Together At Last is a new album by songwriter and guitarist Jeff Tweedy. It features the Wilco bandleader performing eleven of his own songs, culled from the Wilco catalog as well as from side-projects Loose Fur and Golden Smog, in a solo acoustic setting. Co-produced by Tweedy and Tom Schick (who also engineered and mixed the collection) and recorded in January 2016 at Tweedy’s Chicago recording studio The Loft, Together At Last showcases Tweedy’s accomplished and intricate guitar playing and his expressive, plaintive voice, and while audiences have experienced Tweedy live onstage as a solo performer for years, this is the first studio recording of its kind for the acclaimed musician. Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering (Portland, ME).
Various: Pop Makossa: The Invasive Beat of Cameroon (Analog Africa) LP
The Pop Makossa adventure started in 2009, when Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb first travelled to Cameroon to make an initial assessment of the country’s musical situation. He returned with enough tracks for an explosive compilation highlighting the period when funk and disco sounds began to infiltrate the makossa style popular throughout Cameroon. From the very beginning, there were several mysteries hanging over Pop Makossa. It was not until DJ and music producer Déni Shain was dispatched to Cameroon to finalize the project, license the songs, scan photographs, and interview the artists that some of the biggest question marks began to disappear. His journey from the port city of Douala to the capital of Yaoundé brought him in contact with the lives and stories of many of the musicians who had shaped the sound of Cameroon’s dance music in its most fertile decade. The beat that holds everything together has its origins in the rhythms of the Sawa people: ambassey, bolobo, assiko and essewé, a traditional funeral dance. But it wasn’t until these rhythms arrived in the cities of Cameroon and collided with merengue, high-life, Congolese rumba, and, later, funk and disco, that modern makossa was born. Makossa managed to unify the whole of Cameroon, and it was successful in part because it was so adaptable. Some of the greatest makossa hits incorporated the electrifying guitars and tight grooves of funk, while others were laced with cosmic flourishes made possible by the advent of the synthesizer. However much came down to the bass; and from the rubbery hustle underpinning Mystic Djim’s “Yaoundé Girls” to the luminous liquid disco lines which propel Pasteur Lappé’s “Sekele Movement”, Pop Makossa demonstrates why Cameroonian bass players are some of the most revered in the world. “Pop Makossa Invasion”, an obscure tune recorded for Radio Buea makes its debut here and joins the pantheon of extraordinary songs that plugged Cameroon’s makossa style into the modern world. Also features: Dream Stars, Mystic Djim & The Spirits, Bill Loko, Eko, Olinga Gaston, Emmanuel Kahe et Jeanette Kemogne, Nkodo Si-Tony, Bernard Ntone, Pat’ Ndoye, and Clément Djimogne.
Caterina Barbieri: Patterns of Consciousness (Important) LP
Breeders: Pod (Plain)LP
Cyclobe: Sulphur-Tarot-Garden (Phantom Code) LP
Cyclobe: The Visitors (Phantom Code) LP
Danger Doom: The Mouse & The Mask (Lex) LP
Descendants: Milo Goes To College (SST) LP
Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (Blue Note) LP
Full of Hell: Roots of Earth are Consuming (A389) LP
Full of Hell: Rudiments of Mutilation (A389) LP
Husker Du: New Day Rising (SST) LP
Iron Maiden: A Matter of Life and Death (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Dance of Death (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Rock in Rio (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Brave New World (Parlophone) LP
MF Doom: Operation Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
Mountain Goats: Goths (Merge) LP
Prince: Purple Rain (Warner) LP
Loke Rahbek: City of Women (Editions Mego) LP
Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark? (Warner) LP
Run The Jewels: s/t (Mass Appeal) LP
Run The Jewels: II (Mass Appeal) LP
Neil Young: Decade (Reprise) LP
Various: Black Man’s Cry (Now Again) LP
Various: Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas (World Psych Funk Classics) LP
Various: Ghana Soundz (Soundway) LP
Various: Miracle Steps (Optimo) LP
Various: Psych Funk 101 (World Psych Funk Classics) LP
Various: Psych Funk Sa-Ra-Ga! (World Psych Funk Classics) LP
Various: Senegal 70! (Analog Africa) LP
Various: Slow Grind Fever Vol 1 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Various: Those Shocking Shaking Days (Now Again) LP